Bill payment constitutes one of the basic financial needs of any family. In a populous country like India, bill payments comprise a large percentage of all payments. The size of the billing market in India was more than USD 90 billion in 2016, and about 70% of these bill payments were made using cash or check. Several bill payment aggregators are operating in silos in this heavily fragmented market, and in the absence of a countrywide integrated billing system, attempts to integrate with these players involve extensive paperwork, delays, transaction failures and poor customer support.
To address this problem, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has commissioned the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a nationwide integrated bill payment system that offers interoperable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents, allowing multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment. BBPS also serves as an efficient, cost effective alternative to existing systems, setting standards for bill payments in the country and enhancing consumer confidence.
The overall ecosystem is perceived to have one central unit who will govern, manage disputes and route transactions through the unified rails, and multiple operating units/members who will connect to the central unit and facilitate processing of bills across multiple customers (both individual and corporate) and billers. Hence the system was visualized to comprise the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit that sets operational, technical and business standards for the entire platform, and the numerous Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units that connect to the Central Unit and adhere to its directives.
To support the diversity, reach and fragmentation of the Indian market, this system on-boards multiple intermediaries as agents, aggregators and participating financial institutions.